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TABLE 1 Estimates of World Population by Regions, 1650-1950
(millions)
Estimates and Dates
World Total
Africa
Northern America0
Latin America1
Asia (Except U.S.S.R.)6
Europe and Asiatic U.S.S.R.6
Oceania
Area of European Settlementf
Carr-Saunders' estimates:3
1650                          545
1750                          728
1800                          906
1850                       1,171
1900                       1,608
United Nations estimates.
1 1 6
26 81
12 11 19 33 63
327 475 597 741 915
103 144 192 274 423
118 158 219 335 573
1920	1,834	136	115	92	997	485	9	701
1930	2,008	155	134	110	1,069	530	10	784
1940	2,216	111	144	132	1,173	579	11	866
19508	2,515	222	166	162	1,381	571	13	935
aCarr-Saunders, (5).
^United Nations, (6, p. 10; 7, Table II). The 1940 figures are unpublished estimates of the United Nations.
cUnited States, Canada, Alaska, St. Pierre and Miquelon.
^Central and South America and Caribbean Islands.
eEstimates for Asia and Europe in Carr-Saunders' series have been adjusted so as to include the population of the Asiatic U.S.S.R. with that of Europe, rather than Asia. For this purpose, the following approximate estimates of the population of the Asiatic U.S.S.R. were used: 1650, 3 million; 1750, 4 million; 1800, 5 million; 1850, 8 million; 1900, 22 million. Figures for 1950 include all of U.S.S.R. with Europe. Includes northern America, Latin America, Europe and the Asiatic U.S.S.R., and Oceania.
^Revised for more recent United Nations' estimates.
Source: (2, p. 11).
The reason for the population explosion is to be found in the interaction of the components of population growth—births (fertility) and deaths (mortality) for the world as a whole, and fertility and mortality and net migration for any subdivision of the world. To explain the population explosion demographers have a theory of the demographic transition. In brief, the explanation lies in the fact that man is the only complex culture-building animal on this globe and in building his culture he has effected great reductions in the death rate well in advance of any corresponding declines in the birth rate. Although research indicates that there have been large regional variations in mortality and fertility changes, the greatly accelerated rate of population growth is the product of natural increase, that is, the excess of births over deaths.